Thursday, 13 August 2020

Welcome to Grade 3

The start of the new school year is already less than a week away! I hope everyone has been enjoying the summer holidays and is ready for a new start back in school. Things will be a bit different this year as we deal with the Corona Virus Pandemic, but for those who were here last year, many things will remain the same. Hopefully, this will create a nice balance between familiar and new. 

For starters, I will be the same but will be teaching new grades! So this will be very exciting for me, as I will get to teach new units of inquiry for the first time! Speaking of our unit time, the Grade 4 students will be joining together with Grade 3 for our unit and specialist lesson times but will have their language and math lessons together with Ms. Ramani. 

Although a couple of our close friends left us over the summer, we also have a few new members joining our class in addition to the Grade 4 students. I am looking forward to our existing class members who are very familiar with the school and each other to help make the new members feel welcome in our class and at our school.

Our room will also be new, as we have moved to the room next door but many of the procedures that were introduced last year, particularly those that dealt with the social distances and health and safety will remain pretty much the same. Don't worry if you've forgotten what to do or if you weren't here, as we will spend some time going over procedures during the first few days.

Morning Arrival

Speaking of procedures, the first procedure that you'll need to know is about morning arrival. Students in Grades 3-6 will be entering through the main entrance at 8:45. Before entering through the gates, students will line up outside the entrance with a meter of social distance between students. Students MUST wear MASKS and will have their temperature taken. Students with a temperature of 37.5 C will not be allowed to enter the school grounds. In order to maintain social distancing and limit student interaction before entering the school please make arrangements for your child to arrive at school as close as possible to 8:45.

School Supplies

In order to minimize the chances of spreading any germs, students will not be sharing a class supply of stationary so each child will need to bring their own supplies. Most of the following are mentioned in the Parent Handbook, but I've added it here for easy reference. For the start of the school year please supply your child with the following:

- a pencil case

- a few writing pencils (3 - 5)

- an eraser 

- colouring pencils

- markers

- scissors

- glue (stick type preferred)

- ruler

- pencil sharpener

Also, students should bring the following supplies on a daily basis or as needed:

- a full water bottle daily

- lunch utensils

- a hat for outdoor play

- a towel and change of clothes to change into after sweating during the hot summer months

- a box of tissues for their own personal use


Grade 3 and 4 will have swimming in the first term and will also need to bring their swimming things on Mondays:

- a bag to carry swim gear

- swimsuit

- towel

- goggles

Virtual Parent Night on Friday, August 28th at 18:00

Our parent night meeting will be held via Google Meet this year. I'm looking forward to meeting the new families and those that I'm already very familiar with as well! See you online!

As always, should you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me anytime!

I also have a bit of a new look this year!

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Home Learning for Grade 2

Over the next two and a half weeks the DSKI students will continue to work on projects in the various subjects from home. On Friday, several worksheets and notebooks were sent home to help support some of the learning until we roll out the online learning sessions and materials midweek.

Once things are set up and ready to go, you and your children will receive an email with some instructions to follow. Thank you all for your support and understanding with this as we head into uncharted territory as this will be the first time for not only your children to study online, but for me to teach online as well!

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Value as an Element of Art

In art last week, we returned to fruit as our subject matter but this time looked at the element of art known as value. In regards to colour, value deals with the brightness or tints of a hue, and the darkness or shades of a colour. When observing the fruit, the students could identify different tints, shades and tones of the colour on the fruit depending on how the light struck it and how it reflected light as a highlight, or as a shadow.

We explored creating our own tints and shades by adding white and black to base colours and then had the option of creating artwork that made use of different values, either as a monochromatic painting (only using one colour - either red, orange or grey) or by creating one using a greyscale for the background, and then the colour red or orange and its varying tones for the fruit to help contrast it with the background.

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Farm to Table - at Peace and Nature's Ozo Base

Last Thursday, February 13th, the Grade 1 and 2 classes went on a field trip to an actual field! To learn more about how food gets from the farm to our tables we took a hands-on approach to learning by visiting the NPO Peace and Nature's Ozo Base. We departed school just after 9am and arrived around 10am. After dropping us off, our bus got stuck in the mud! It wasn't the only one, as a number of students also got themselves stuck in the mud while playing in the ditches and puddles! Luckily, the other bus was able to tow our bus out, just as their classmates and teachers were able to pull the stuck students from the mud!

Bahram Enanloo and some of the other members of the Peace and Nature group were on hand to help us out, including former DSKI student Maciej's mother Beata Andryszko!

After getting some energy from their morning snacks, the students got to work as farmhands for the day. First, we took a short tour of the grounds, and had the chance to touch and smell some of the herbs in the Herb Garden! Some also enjoyed the chance encounter with some wildlife, such as frogs, worms, spiders and the ever so popular ladybugs!

The first job of the day was to help clear a fallow field of rocks and stones. We tried to leave no stone unturned and created a nice little pile of stones in a very short time.

Once done with the rocks, it was time to put some straw down in between the rows of onions! This task demonstrated how the Second Graders have really become problem solvers by coming up with their own system to pass the straw out. Their ability to cooperate on this task was incredible and demonstrated just how much they can accomplish when they put their minds to it!

Next, it was time to get ready for lunch. The Grade Two Students carefully helped chop up some carrots, onions, daikon radishes and cabbage to be added to a nice organic soup that was made right there from fresh veggies grown in the garden.

After eating some soup, genmai rice and their own lunches, we learned about composting and then helped weed the garden by pulling out all the little weeds growing around the daikon, carrots and onion crops.

Finally, the students had the chance to pick and transplant their own onion plant from the garden and into a small planter to take home!

It was a wonderful day with warm weather, sun and fun! Most importantly, lessons were definitely learned as Aita commented, "Mr. Brabant, being a farmer is a lot of work!" This comment was also echoed and reflected on by other students as well. Hopefully, a new found appreciation for where their food comes from was instilled in all the students. Thanks again to Bahram, and all of the other members of Peace and Nature for hosting us for the day!

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Field Trip to Peace and Nature

Thank you to everyone who took part in the 3 Way Conferences last week, it was great to meet with all of you to reflect on what they have done so far and to set personal goals for the remainder of the year.

Whole Day Field Trip this Thursday, February 13th

As part of our inquiry into where our food comes from, we will be visiting Peace and Nature's Farm in Ozo on Thursday, February 13th, together with the Grade 1 class. We will be leaving around 9am and will return just before 3:30. Please have your child dress warmly that day as the farm is up in the mountains and will probably be colder than down here. Please be aware that depending on the weather in the days leading up to the field trip the field may be muddy, please choose appropriate footwear. Also please pack a snack, lunch (school lunch has been cancelled and refunded for that day), water bottle and an empty bag to bring back some vegetables we may pick for your child. In case of rain, the trip will be postponed to Tuesday, February 18th.

Important Reminders 

- Dress Warm!! (We will be outside most of the day and up in the mountains)
- snack
- lunch (school lunch has been cancelled)
- water bottle
- bag (to bring back vegetables)

Friday, 31 January 2020

3 Way Conference Schedule and Still Life Painting

See it clearer here!

Now that the report cards have been sent out, it is time for us to get together and have a little chat about how the students are progressing. Thanks to, reserving conference times has become a very stress-free process; which is exactly what I need as I've been busy writing reports and organizing all of the school club activities for the second term.

Clubs in the 2nd Term

Speaking of Clubs...if you or your child has not joined up for one or more of the clubs being offered at DSK in the 2nd term then wait no longer as some clubs might be cancelled in the next couple of days. So please sign up here!

New Unit

Out new unit, "From Farm to Table" began last week. This week we literally focussed on food by taking a close look at some fruit in order to paint some still life paintings. We began by reviewing some colour theory about mixing secondary colours, and also examined a variety of famous still life throughout the ages. Then we passed out some fruit and let the 4 groups arrange their fruit however they wanted. Next, the students sketched the fruit in pencil, and then today they had the chance to add some colour with paint! We have some very talented artists in our class! They also made sure that the real fruit tasted as good as it looked!

Also our Invention Convention last week was a huge success. Check out the previous blog post from earlier this week!

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Invention Convention

Last Friday, the Grade 2 students were so excited to present the inventions that they created as part of our unit on how "Our needs, interests and curiosity lead us to new discoveries and ideas." Thank you to all the parents, teachers and students who come to our Invention Convention!

If you missed it, here are some highlights!